dwb (driving while black)
Download from iTunes Quantity in Basket: None SUSAN KANDER dwb (driving while black) TROY1858 - Price: $16.99
play sound file need help?
Go Back >


A chamber opera by Susan Kander with libretto by Roberta Gumbel tackles a timely topic.

Susan Kander and Roberta Gumbel's dwb (driving while black) tackles what it means to be a parent of a black child who starts driving. In its swift 45 minutes, the listener spends 16 years with a black mother, feeling her growing fear as her black son moves towards driving age. Librettist and soprano Roberta Gumbel has been called “silver-voiced” by the New York Times. She has appeared with opera companies in Kansas City, Houston, Indianapolis, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Memphis, and toured the United States and Europe in companies of Porgy and Bess, including the renowned Houston Grand Opera production. Composer Susan Kander’s music has been heard across the U.S. and in Europe, China, Russia, Australia, and South Africa and she has received commissions from a variety of ensembles including the Minnesota Opera Theater, Opera Theater of St. Louis, the Columbus Opera, and National Symphony Orchestra, among many others. Her music appears on the MSR, Navona, and Loose Can record labels. dwb (driving while black) enjoyed a video premiere on October 23, 2020 as a joint production of the Baruch Performing Arts Center and Opera Omaha.
Susan Kander, composer
dwb (driving while black)
Roberta Gumbel (soprano); Hannah Collins (cello); Michael Compitello (percussion)

"The setting of dwb (driving while black) is given as TIME: Now/PLACE: Here. And indeed, with each passing news cycle the urgency of this intimate and incisive one-woman chamber opera becomes more apparent.…the opera is a collaboration between a Black writer and soprano, Roberta Gumbel -- here an affecting Singer/Mother -- and a while composer, Susan Kander…Kander's inventive, colourful score requires its cello and percussion duo (the enterprising New Morse Code) to occasionally speak roles. It's a reminder that we each stand witness -- and can choose to add our voices in protest." (Gramophone)

"The deeply affecting and innovatively conceived new chamber opera dwb (driving while black) makes its powerful impact with deliberately limited forces. The piece, by composer Susan Kander and first-time librettist Roberta Gumbel, is a 45 minute monodrama for female voice (sung here by Gumbel, an accomplished soprano with both opera and Broadway credits). The instrumentation, consisting only of cello and percussion, is refreshingly spare and surprisingly multicolored.…The brilliantly illustrative instrumental playing (plus a few sung and spoken lines) is courtesy of New More Code, a duo consisting of cellist Hannah Collins and percussionist Michael Compitello. The instruments emerge as coequal characters in the opera." (Opera News)